If you are in the process of adopting or considering choosing an adoption placement for your child, you’ve likely been bombarded with a lot of terminology related to the adoption community and who you will be working with. Though you may have heard about adoption consultants, you also might not be familiar with them, or their work.
An adoption consultant is someone who has experience with the adoption process who will guide prospective birth parents through the adoption process from start to finish. Adoption consultants can be individuals or you might work with a consultant company.
There are pros and cons to working with an adoption consultant.
The Pros of Hiring an Adoption Consultant
There are countless positive aspects to hiring an adoption consultant. Though many people going through the process might have support from family and friends as they go through this journey, some people may not. An adoption consultant would offer guidance, support, and help with the education process of what to do when adopting. According to AmericanAdoptions.com, if this is a process that is causing you stress, this is something an adoption consultant can help with. In many cases, you may struggle with making an informed decision about adoption and what your next steps should be. I remember how daunting it was when I personally began the process and I didn’t know what agencies or lawyers to contact or how to proceed with a home study or when. Working with an adoption consultant can help you with these issues and make the process much simpler. In fact, Hellobabyadoptionconsultants.com explains that it is their job to give advice, direction and support including “your home study, your applications with adoption agencies” and continue to support you as you navigate meeting birth parents, the arrival of your child, and the next legal steps. This can be overwhelming for some and having a person walking through it with them may be something people considering building their family through adoption will need.
The Cons of Hiring an Adoption Consultant
Though the pros of hiring an adoption consultant are plentiful, there are a lot of things to consider that could fall into the con category for many. An adoption consultant is an added fee. We already know that adoption can be very expensive and it seems that an adoption consultant can range from an additional $4,000 and up. Another con for me is that adoption consultants are not licensed adoption professionals. They aren’t social workers or lawyers, so they are there to support you, not to actually fulfill any duties that would help you get closer to adoption. Another misconception is that hiring an adoption consultant would give you the upper hand in meeting birth parents and this simply isn’t true–they will have no connections to birth parents and you won’t be meeting them through an adoption consultant. I was lucky enough to find an adoption agency that fulfilled a lot of these things through my fee with them including access to a social worker to provide support and a case worker that walked us through each step. In my research, I couldn’t find adoption consultants in every state and some companies would cover many, which could be problematic as adoption policies and legality are different in each state.
How do you Decide if you should hire an Adoption Consultant?
If you don’t have the additional funds on top of the money you’ll be paying for an adoption, you can probably eliminate this option from your adoption journey. Also, adoption consultants are not required to adopt, so if you feel like you have enough support and advice, they probably aren’t for you either. However, if you feel completely lost and are financially able to commit to working with an adoption consultant, it is definitely worth considering. It is just important to remember that these individuals won’t help eliminate an adoption wait time, won’t be able to connect you with a birth parent (though they may be able to help you create a more pleasing adoption profile), and they aren’t licensed to actually assist in the legalities of adoption. This is a challenging time and if you need more support, there’s no reason not to consider an adoption consultant.
It may still be beneficial if you have an adoption agency or adoption professional that you’re already working with to meet with them to see what services they provide before you search for an adoption consultant. As with any aspect of the adoption process, you’ll want to do your research to see if this is the right move for you and your family.